Distracted driving is an act while driving when your focus is distributed between driving and doing some other tasks while driving. Talking on the phone, using any other electronic item, eating or drinking, talking with people, etc., while driving distracts our focus from driving. Distracted driving is the process that takes the driver’s attention from the primary task of driving.
Distracted driving is the primary reason for accidents during driving. Many people lose their lives every year due to distracted driving. History has witnessed various serious accidents only because of distracted driving.
Distracted driving is not only harmful for the driver and the passengers but also for the other people who are driving through the same route. The government has started Various awareness campaigns to inform people of this harmful practice and discourage them from doing so while driving.
Nowadays, many technologies like driving with the help of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistant, GPS for vehicle tracking, etc., have come up to assist drivers while driving and prevent any accidents that might occur due to distraction caused by the driver. For now, these technologies guide the vehicles and help the driver.
15 Tips and Strategies for Preventing Distracted Driving in Fleet Operations
The fleet operations managers can implement the following tips and strategies to prevent any mishap due to distracted driving in fleet operations:
- Implement a distracted driving policy
To avoid any accidents caused by distracted driving, formulate strict policies. Formulate a clear policy that prohibits using electronic items while driving vehicles.
- Provide driver education
It is crucial to warn drivers of distracted driving and its harmful consequences. Drivers should be offered regular pieces of training to educate them about the dangers of distracted driving and ways to prevent it while driving.
- Enforce the policy strictly.
The drivers of fleet operations must be regularly reminded of the policy of avoiding distracted driving. If any case is found, strict actions should be taken against the driver involved to prevent the repetition of such harmful acts.
- Use technology to avoid accidents.
Tools like telematics systems, smartphones, Artificial Intelligence, GPS fleet trackers, etc., can be included in the fleet to detect and prevent distracted driving behaviors by the fleet drivers.
- Hand-free communication
Bluetooth headsets and voice command systems can be used in the fleet while driving to avoid using hands while communicating. The use of hands distracts the driver, and the risk of accidents increases. Hand-free communication would enable the driver to communicate easily without getting distracted.
- Promote pre-trip planning
The drivers should be encouraged to plan their trip. They must be well-versed in the routes they are going to take. The navigation system should be adjusted well before hitting the road to minimize possible distractions during driving.
- Set clear expectations for the driver.
Communicate clearly to the drivers that their primary focus while driving is expected on the road only and not anywhere else. Remind them of the policy to avoid distracted driving and the consequences of distracted driving.
- Eliminate distractions within the vehicle.
The vehicle being driven should be free from any possible distractions that can emerge and steal the driver’s attention while driving. The vehicle’s space must be clean and organized to avoid potential distractions.
- Provide regular vehicle maintenance.
It should ensure that all the vehicles in the fleet are well-maintained to avoid any distractions by breakdowns or other events during driving that do not occur, and the driver can drive without getting disturbed.
- Schedule regular breaks for the driver.
Continuous driving can exhaust the driver and lead to a lack of concentration due to fatigue during driving. The driver must be given regular breaks to relax and restore their attention.
- Set realistic deadlines
The deadlines should be realistic and can be met in real time. Setting unrealistic deadlines can encourage the driver to be involved in harmful driving techniques like rash driving, speeding, multitasking, etc., to meet the deadline. This increases the risk of damage to the driver and the fleet vehicles.
- Use dash cameras
Dash cameras should be installed in fleet vehicles to monitor the driver and detect distracted driving behaviors. The installed cameras also help judge the driver’s overall driving and provide helpful feedback to them.
- Encourage reporting
Drivers must be made comfortable and encouraged to report the real-time situation to other drivers who appear to be involved in distracted driving.
- Lead by example
To set an example, fleet managers and supervisors must lead the drivers and avoid distracted driving. Their responsible behavior would encourage the drivers positively.
- Regularly review and update the policies.
The policies must be continuously assessed, and the vehicle and policies should be updated. The cars must be updated with the latest technologies, regulations, and industry best practices to avoid the slightest chance of distracted driving.
Driving a fleet vehicle is indeed a job of great responsibility. Any carelessness during driving will not only affect the driver but will cause damage to other drivers of the fleet. Any accidents in the fleet affect the infrastructure of the nation as well. A distraction of even a second can lead to an apocalypse. Installing apt technologies and policies in fleet vehicles is essential to avoid distracted driving.
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